Eight Eastern Bettongs have been released into the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary expansion area as part of a world-leading ecological restoration project.
Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti said this is the next step in gradually reintroducing the Eastern bettongs to mainland Australia, where they can help restore balance to native ecosystems.
“For more than 100 years, eastern bettongs, also known as Ngaluda in the Ngunnawal language, have been extinct outside of Tasmania,” Minister Vassarotti said.
“At one point in Canberra’s history they were so numerous you couldn’t plant potatoes to grow in your backyard.”
“The release of these bettongs is significant not just for our local environment, but for the entire country. The Eastern Bettong has a pivotal role in its ecosystem, where some of their activities include spreading truffle spores, helping to regenerate the soil, and creating burrows that support native plant growth.
“Expanding their populations at the sanctuary is an important step in reconstructing an entire food web of native species, only twenty minutes from the Canberra city centre.
“Mulligans Flat Woodlands Sanctuary began reintroducing these marsupials in 2012, and there is now a robust population onsite.
“The ACT Government has been working in collaboration with the Australian Government, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Australian National University and other organisations around the country to boost populations and establish up to six new bettong colonies.
“I encourage everyone to go out to the Sanctuary and explore a critically endangered ecosystem and hear from a Wildbark Ranger about the work they do to help Australia’s wildlife.”